What exactly is the ‘New Caliphate’?

The “New Caliphate” which fanatical Islam is so urgently determined to establish, is the Muslim alternative to the Judeo/Christian Kingdom of God over which the true Messiah will reign. It is in fact the Anti-Christ kingdom. The imminent attack on Israel, so vividly described in Psalm 83 and Zechariah 12, is a critical stage in the plan to establish the New Islamic Caliphate that is meant to initially rule the Middle East and subsequently the whole world. Many Islamic leaders around the world are now talking openly and boldly about the imminent fulfillment of this dream. Presently Israel is the world’s first line of defense against this sinister aim, which would eventually have a profoundly ominous negative effect on every nation of the world. One part of that effect would be the total banning of Judaism, Christianity and all world religions other than Islam. The Caliphate would then seek to ultimately introduce radical Shariah law across the whole earth. What should every Bible believing person do in the face of this threatened onslaught?

It is an extremely alarming fact that a major portion of the world’s population today has no awareness whatsoever of what constitutes the “New Caliphate” or of what it could mean for the whole world if the New Caliphate was successfully established. It is particularly frightening that the universal Church and a vast number of people who claim to be part of the Church, also possess very little if any understanding about the planned New Caliphate. Many extremely influential people around much of our world today are becoming part of the thrust to make Islam the religious/political ruler of the world with its headquarters in the city of Jerusalem.

Testimonies of Jesus’ Presence

The wife of my younger brother recently went to be with the Lord. She was born in Somalia and lived her earlier life as a Muslim, but came to know and love Jesus as her Lord and Saviour when she and John were visiting Liz and myself in Singapore some years ago.  They both became avid lovers of Jesus. They also became keen readers of the Bible. However, their “knowledge” about heaven was rather vague and my brother is quite keen to know where his bride of some fifty year is now.  I mentioned to him recently a couple of incidents we encountered many years ago in Adelaide.

Mrs Hoskins, with her husband and family had immigrated to Australia from London. She became a faithful and prayerful member of our Assembly. Her greatest desire was always that her husband would come to know the Lord. She eventually became quite ill and confined to her bed. One day when I was visiting her, she confidentially told me that whilst praying for her husband she had told the Lord that she would gladly surrender her life to God if He would save her husband. She told me that she did not really mean that she would be happy to die if it would mean that her husband would be saved. I quietly counselled her that Jesus had died for his salvation and that her own death could never be necessary for Henry’s salvation.  In an incident remarkably like the one I have just described, she also became confined to her bed lying weakly on her back too  weak to raise herself up.  Whilst her lady visitors were sitting quietly around her bed, suddenly without any aid she began to rise from the bed into a sitting position.  As  she rose, she lifted her hands towards heaven and cried out  excitedly “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”  before  her body fell back lifeless on to the bed.  That Sunday evening we held a memorial service for her. He husband attended the service and publicly accepted Christ as his Saviour.

Mrs Paul and her husband became members of our Assembly in Sutherland, after many years as members of a Presbyterian Church. They were both lovely Christians, Spirit filled, but still rather quietly undemonstrative.  Mrs Paul eventually became quite ill and was eventually confined to her bed. Several ladies from the Church used to visit her every day, praying at her bedside.  One morning Mrs Paul lay in bed as she had now for many weeks. She was too weak to even raise herself, but suddenly with her gaze risen towards the ceiling, she began to raise her whole body from her prostate position.  As she rose, she became very excited about something that no one else see or hear.  Her face became relaxed and radiant and she began to say, “Listen to that wonderful music.”  She rose to a sitting position without any help, calling out to “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus”, before falling  back on to the bed with a radiant look on her face.

Islam in the Future?

Muslims are currently the fastest-growing religious group in the world today. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State, (also known as ISIS or ISIL) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.

Here are answers to some key questions about Muslims, compiled from several Pew Research Centre reports published in recent years:

There were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as of 2010 – roughly 23% of the global population, – according to a Pew Research Centre estimate. But while Islam is currently the world’s second-largest religion (after Christianity), it is the fastest-growing major religion in the world today. Indeed, if current demographic trends continue, the number of Muslims is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century.  These predictions published by the Pew Research Centre, are supported by international reviews that are recognised worldwide.  At this critical time, we can readily see that the trends predicted are certainly happening throughout the world. This fact must be seriously  and urgently faced by every Church and every Christian in the whole world. Even in Australia, which is favourably placed in terms of geographic distance from present Islamic activities involving international influence, it is certainly not necessarily safe from the dominance of Islam.  However, one extremely vital fact about the predictions concerning international dominance of Islam in the future, is that it does not refer to any possibility of a Divine intervention by Yahweh, the God of Israel and the Church.  How grateful we should be that the God of the Bible has prophetic plans that will bring defeat and shame on Islam drastically reducing its power and influence throughout the earth.  According to Zechariah 12 and numerous other Biblical prophecies, these plans will miraculously bless both Israel and the Church, with glorious victory and a secure eternal future.  Let’s begin with a careful look at Zechariah 12!  The future influence of Israel and the Church will be dramatically and gloriously enhanced in the immediate prophetic future.

 Zechariah 12  contains  a brief yet astounding panoramic view of  the world as we presently find it. There are several features we may currently immediately recognise, and other predictions that will obviously happen in the very near future. This predicted future will be manifested in the very near future.

The Importance of Jerusalem

The prophet Joel saw three great developments before the coming of “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” First, he saw the Spirit of God being poured out on all flesh—a revival that would cover the whole earth (Joel 2:28ff). Second, he saw the Jewish people returning to their homeland (Joel 3:1). And third, he saw the nations gathering together against Jerusalem, specifically in the valley of Jehoshaphat (“God judges” in Hebrew), a northern extension of the Kidron Valley. He had a special name for this valley—the “valley of decision.

From the very beginning, Jerusalem has been a city of decision. The first time we read about it, we find Abraham returning from a successful campaign against four kings who had taken hostages from the city-states of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pursued and defeated the kings, liberated the hostages, and brought back a rich bounty of his conquest (Genesis 14).

Upon his return, Abraham reached the “valley of the Kings”—thought to be the Kidron Valley just east of Jerusalem’s Old City. There, two kings appeared to him: the King of Sodom, ruler of an unrighteous city, and Melchizedek, King of Salem. Both made an offer to Abraham. The King of Sodom offered him all the spoils of the conquest: “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” Melchizedek’s offer was far more modest: bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed him from “God Most High (El Elyon), Possessor of heaven and earth. The difference was stark! The ruler of Sodom offered riches but kept the souls. Melchizedek was Priest of the God Most High, and with bread and wine, the eternal symbols of sacrificial redemption, he offered Abraham redemption of the soul. Abraham understood this came from the same God who called him out of Ur in Chaldea. This was the Creator God, “possessor of heaven and earth,” who could claim everything he had.

It was not an easy choice. Abraham had every right to keep the riches of Sodom but he returned the spoil to its king. He then readily accepted Melchizedek’s blessing and offered back a tithe of everything he had, recognizing God’s claim over his life.

Years later, God called Abraham back to Jerusalem. “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you” (Genesis 22:2). This is the most demanding call anyone could ever receive from God. It meant giving up the son of promise for whom Abraham had prayed and hoped for those many years. Isaac also embodied his own calling to be a blessing to all the families of the earth. And of course, Isaac was his own flesh and blood. We can only imagine what it took for Abraham to make this agonizing journey to Jerusalem. Hebrews says Abraham’s deep belief that Isaac would be raised from the dead enabled him to walk this difficult road (Hebrews 11:17–19).

Twice Abraham made a radical decision in Jerusalem. For him, Jerusalem represented the very fact that God indeed was possessor of heaven and earth. It is the place of total surrender to God; the place to make God the highest authority and submit our rights and will to Him.

David would later make Jerusalem the capital of Israel. As with Abraham, Jerusalem became for David the place of ultimate worship and sacrifice to God. There on Mount Zion, David established a place of perpetual worship to God. One of his psalms says it is a place reserved for the humble and pure of heart (Psalm 24:1–4). Here, the Creator of heaven and earth expects our total surrender to Him. Isaiah declares that “His fire is in Zion and whose furnace is Jerusalem” (Isaiah 31:9). Jerusalem is a battleground for the soul—the place for deciding whom we will serve.

Yet in Jerusalem, God made His own decision to give everything for us. Like Abraham, He gave that which was most precious to Him—His only begotten Son. Two thousand years after Abraham, in the Kings’ valley on the slopes of the Kidron, Melchizedek appears again—now as the son of David, King of the Jews, and Son of God. There, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ, our High Priest, prayed the greatest prayer of submission: “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). And as did Isaac, Jesus carried a wooden burden up that mountain to offer Himself as an eternal sacrifice for me and you. Throughout history this offer of redemption has confronted every soul. It remains a place of decision for everyone!

Interestingly, the king of Sodom’s offer also seems to be ever-present in this city. The book of Revelation calls Jerusalem the city that is spiritually “Sodom.” There is an enduring spiritual battle over the city that manifests even in the political arena. Jerusalem is like a magnet to the rulers of this world, where the arrogance of their power is demonstrated by their desire to divide and control the City of God. But “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion’” (Psalm 2:4–6).

The prophet Zechariah foresaw the drunkenness with which the world’s rulers are eager to decide the fate of Jerusalem. Yet the prophet warned: “… it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would have it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:2–3).

It is a dangerous thing to carelessly lift that heavy stone of Jerusalem. It is a burden that can crush even nations.

Exactly one hundred years ago, British General Edmund Allenby liberated Jerusalem from the Ottomans. When entering the city through Jaffa Gate, he dismounted his horse and asked his soldiers to do the same. “Only the King of kings should enter the city riding on a horse,” he reportedly said. Some 20 years earlier, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Jerusalem and insisted that Jaffa Gate be widened for him to ride into Jerusalem on a white horse.

Dealing with Jerusalem demands humility from everyone, politicians included. Those who would too easily divide the city remind us of the prostitute who too quickly took up Solomon’s suggestion to divide her friend’s child. Let us rather seek the peace of this great city! The psalmist said, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you” (Psalm 122:6); the Hebrew word for peace, shalom—also means “wholeness.” To seek unity and peace can mean the difference between blessing and a curse.

Therefore, make it a place of decision for you personally, and choose afresh Christ’s eternal gift of bread and wine, submitting to Him. But also, let us pray for our nations to relate rightly to the city that Jesus Christ Himself calls the city of the great King. It will be for the prospering of our own nations!

Anti-Semetism Spreads Worldwide!

The Bible clearly predicts that in the Last Days anti-Semitism would be rife throughout the world. As Christians we must immediately affirm our strong unity with Israel and all Jews everywhere. Together we must be as one body boldly proclaiming that God has one people,  who in Yeshua (Jesus) will become eternally united. Most of the Church has not yet even recognised this, but we must open our spiritual eyes to the fact that we have entered the Last Days, when God will bring this vision of the One New Man to its fulfilment.

Anti-Semitism is assuming a potentially “pandemic” dimension globally, even in the USA, and if left unchecked it could grow into an immensely serious threat, worldwide, one of American Jewry’s most senior leaders said this week. He was calling on world leaders to convene a global summit to forcefully denounce the phenomenon.  “I think we’re seeing a terrifying pandemic in formation,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, who heads the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. I think America’s situation is different from Europe. It is not as bad yet, but it is certainly developing exponentially  and  the potential is definitely there.”

In a far-reaching interview, Malcolm Hoenlein, who is currently in Israel, also spoke about widespread concerns over the Israeli government’s total alignment with US President Donald Trump, which some fear could turn Israel into a partisan issue in the United States.   He said, “We see anti-Semitism in Britain, we see it in France, and now we see it’s spreading everywhere,” Hoenlein told The Times of Israel in its Jerusalem office on Sunday. “Look at the numbers of disastrous incidents in Germany, Scandinavia and other parts of the world. And now we see in America swastikas being painted, other expressions [such as phoned-in] threats or aggression against kids on campuses. So it is definitely rapidly spreading. It’s not isolated to one geographic locale. It’s like a vicious virus that rapidly spreads. And you have to declare it for what it is.”

The interview with Hoenlein was conducted mere hours before news emerged of an apparently anti-Semitic act of vandalism that took place in his hometown of Philadelphia. Several tombstones in the city’s Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery had been toppled in what the Israeli government called a “shocking” and worrying act. . “I do think that this cancer, left unchecked, spreads and becomes more and more of a threat.”

 The worst example of such a process can be identified in France, where anti-Jewish sentiment “metastasized over a period of time,” he said. “It didn’t just happen,” he added, citing recent reports of attacks on Jews, and information from his own relatives who live in France told  him life has become virtually “intolerable” there. European governments have denounced such incidents and increased measures to protect Jews, Hoenlein said. “But we can’t deny the fact that anti-Semitism today is no longer something that has to be done under the cloak of darkness, with the fear of repercussions. Those restrictions are gone. And I think we have to reimpose it and there have to be standards set. That’s why I want government officials saying this is not acceptable, just like racism and bigotry in any other form is not acceptable.”

‘It’s everybody’s problem when there’s hatred against Jews. We’re the victims, we’re not the cause of it’

Combating anti-Semitism starts with the Jewish community, “but it certainly doesn’t end with it,” declared Hoenlein. “This is not their  problem alone. It is society’s problem. It is definitely Christianity’s problem. In fact it’s everybody’s problem, when there’s such bitter unfounded hatred against Jews.

This horrible phenomena is not yet a huge  problem in Australia but the potential for it can definitely be seen. The manner in which our own Government is encouraging  Islamic people and their organisations in Australia, will definitely promote anti-Semitism in numerous Australian communities. We Christians must definitely prepare ourselves by taking immediate action. We must ignore political correctness. We must stand firmly with Israel and with Jewish persons everywhere, in an unrelenting manner. We must be one with them because they too are God’s special people. In the Last Days God’s people will be neither Jew nor Gentile but a New Creation in Christ.

Imbibing The Word Of God!

Imbibing The Word Of God

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (Col. 3:16, NLT).

Studying the Bible in a way that changes your life doesn’t take a bunch of expensive tools. You don’t need commentaries or Bible study software. In fact, if you were stuck on a desert island with just a Bible, you could simply use the method you’ll learn about in this devotional.

God says that if we meditate on his Word, we’ll be successful. Here’s a method you can use to meditate on God’s Word in a way that’ll please God.

The “pronounce it” method of biblical meditation is an easy method for meditating on Scripture—and getting every ounce of spiritual nutrition you can out of it.

You start with a verse and read it over and over again. Each time you read the verse, you emphasize a different word. It’s the simplest way to start unlocking Scripture. You can do it even if it’s the first time you’ve ever opened up a Bible. It’s simple but amazingly powerful. Each time you emphasize a different word, you get a different perspective.

Take the first part of Colossians 3:16, for example: “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (NLT).

The first time you read the verse, emphasize the word “let.” “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” What does it mean to “let”? It means “give permission.” You open the door; it’s your choice. You have to choose to let the Word of God dwell in you richly. Gladly allow it to happen!

Then read the verse again and emphasize “message.” “Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly.” That means you need to get God’s Word in your mind.

Then emphasize the word “Christ.” You’re not dwelling on what some philosopher, guru or talk show host has to say. You’re dwelling on the words of Christ. You may not want to let the word of the world dwell in you, but that’s what happens when you spend your time watching TV instead of reading God’s Word.

Then you focus on the word “richness.” What does that mean? It means the opposite of “poorly.” In other words, “richness”  means lusciously, extravagantly and profoundly. God doesn’t want his Word to be a poor substitute in your life. He wants it to create beauty in your life.

Then emphasize the word “fill.” Don’t rush through God’s Word so you can get on with the rest of your day. To let the Word of Christ fill you is to let it live within you.

Finally, focus on the words “your lives.” The Bible isn’t just God’s Word for your pastor, a seminary professor or your small group leader; it’s God’s Word for you. The Bible is instruction for every single believer.

See all the great jewels you discovered in this passage just by focusing on one word at a time? You didn’t need a seminary degree or a great library of reference tools. You can do this.

Talk It Over

  • How will you dwell on God’s Word throughout your day?
  • How does your life reflect the richness of God’s Word and his grace? How would it look different to other people if you allowed God’s Word to make a greater difference in your life?
  • Practice the “pronounce it” method during your next quiet time. What difference does it make?

 

The Whole Church Is Failing Israel!

The Church of England has once again failed to give a moral lead to their nation. Their Synod (parliament) has voted against the Bishops’ recommendation that in the face of the huge pressure to allow same-sex ‘equality’, they should continue to take the traditional view of marriage. Those within the church who are desperately trying to honour the clear biblical teaching – that a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife (Genesis 2.24) – have reached a discouraging impasse.

Is it not time to say: ‘enough is enough’? Undermining the authority of the Bible only leads to heresy within, and confusion without. Sure, the watching world sees a church sadly divided, and  that is a surely terrible  witness. But there are surely issues over which it should be  impossible to compromise.

Endless debates create much heat, but bears little fruit. What, after all, is there left to debate? If the choice is whether or not to follow Scripture, then the advice from the Apostle Paul is: “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6.17) Those pushing for same-sex marriage are surely touching something ‘unclean’. At the end of the day, we will all stand before God to give account of the decisions we have made or haven’t made. (Romans 14.12)

The letters to the seven churches of Asia recorded in the Book of Revelation give as much emphasis on teaching as on behaviour – the key doctrines of Christian belief are hugely important.

The Apostle John, in his first letter, reminds his hearers that those who were spreading false teaching had come from within the churches. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us,” he wrote. (1 John 2.19) Heresy was a great danger in the early church, just as Jesus predicted it would be in these latter days. When his disciples asked him about signs of the end of the age, the first thing he said was: “Watch out that no-one deceives you.” (Matthew 24.4.)

Yes, Jesus prayed passionately for unity among his followers. It was never meant to be unity at any cost, however, but the sort of oneness about which Paul spoke in his letter to the Ephesians when he explained that the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were there “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature…” (Ephesians 4.12f) The context is clearly about developing maturity within the body of Christ as disciples learn to walk in harmony with the Word of God. But because the modern church has failed to give a moral lead on the issue of homosexuality, the entire Western world is now in the process  of ‘redefining marriage’, if that is really possible.

We have seen the same thing concerning Israel. Undermining the authority of the Bible has led to the heresy of ‘replacement theology’, teaching that the church has replaced Israel in God’s affections and purposes. As a result, there is very little true understanding of Israel in the church today, and yet God’s end-time purpose is for Jew and Gentile to work together for the gospel! How far we have fallen behind God’s programme!  Tragically, the church has succumbed wholesale to worldliness, ignoring the Bible’s directive: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12.2) For example, as the mainstream media demonizes President Trump as a fool and a fascist, Christians will all too willingly pick that up without considering whether the truth may well have been stretched and muddied.

Lynne Patton, a black female executive for the Trump Organization, released a statement last year defending her boss against accusations of being a racist and a bigot, tearfully revealing how she’s struggled with substance abuse and addiction for years. But instead of kicking her to the curb, she said that Trump and his entire family loyally stood by her through “immensely difficult times.”

This was revealed in an article by Liz Crokin, an entertainment correspondent who has been reporting for the past ten years on Trump – especially over his involvement in The Apprentice TV show. “Trump’s kindness knows no bounds and his generosity has and continues to touch the lives of people from every sex, race and religion,” she wrote. “When Trump sees someone in need, he wants to help.

JEW AND GENTILE, ONE NEW MAN

 

The Mystery Revealed

The full prophetic plan of the “One New Man” (Eph.2:15), is  the drawing together of Jew and Gentile and is an urgently  needed revelation for the time that we live in, and for the final age to come. The book of Ruth showed us the tremendous love that this Gentile woman Ruth, had, as she became a fellow citizen with Israel and the Jewish people, adapted to their way of life, and their belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In this article, I hope to impart to you, the mystery revealed  from the book of Ephesians regarding the joining of the Jew and Gentile as one in Messiah.

Although the body of Messiah today, which is the Church, has in fact joined themselves to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the same God as the Jewish people, the separation between the Church and the Jewish people definitely remains. This “Oneness of Jew and Gentile” is not merely theoretical or theological. It is thoroughly real and practical.  At the same time, that the Jews cannot embrace the Church, whether as Gentile believers in Jesus or even a Jewish believer in Jesus,  this makes this joining twice as hard. As the Lord is preparing the stage for His second coming, many segments of His church are still definitely not recognising the significant role of Israel and the Jewish people in God’s prophetic plan. Without embracing this vision, the joining of Jew and Gentile as ONE NEW MAN cannot possible take place.

There is a tremendous spiritual war against the union of these two people groups joining together, because the ultimate result will be the manifest glory of God upon the earth, and will unlock the healing of all God’s creation. Today we have many divisions among the entire body of Messiah, between denominations, churches, movements, and believers throughout the whole earth, Why? The root of all divisions has never been healed, it is the most ancient of divisions, one which the apostle Paul, seeing into the future, addressed in the book of Ephesians, the separation and division of the Jew and Gentile. Paul is speaking to Gentile believers in Ephesus, revealing a mystery to them regarding this “ONE NEW MAN”. As we briefly look at parts of this book, we must remember the overall theme of the book, which is this joining of two people groups becoming one in Messiah. In chapter 1:17-18, Paul states that he always prays for the believers to have wisdom and revelation into the plan of God, that their eyes will be opened to this. Of course, we can take this to mean God’s plan for our own individual lives, but we must also see the larger plan, the joining of the Jew and Gentile in Messiah.

In Ephesians chapter 2:11-13, it is clearly stated that the Gentiles were at one time estranged from the rights of Israel as a nation, and also strangers from the covenants, but through the shed blood of Messiah they are now brought near. One of the biggest problems believers have in interpreting the New Testament scriptures is that most of the time there is  little knowledge of the Old Testament. In the next two verses, 14-15, we need to take a closer look at certain words in order to understand what the Apostle Paul is saying, “For he (Messiah) is our peace, who has made us both Jew and Gentile one body, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments contained, in ordinances; for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace.”

Most interpretations of these two verses would say that the word enmity refers to the Old Testament law of commandments, and that through believing in Jesus, these have been done away with. First we must clarify that the word law, actually means teachings, and if it were not for the Old Testament teachings we would not have any foundation at all, and we would not have the Messiah Jesus.

Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” The root meaning of the word fulfil is: to clarify or finalise, to perfect a foundation on which to build further. Jesus never meant to do away with or abolish the Old Testament teachings. Without knowledge of any Hebraic root teachings we will not be able to understand what Paul is referring to in “the enmity of ordinances”. Remember, Paul was a learned Jewish scholar who knew the Old Testament, and also the oral rabbinic laws. The enmity between Jew and Gentile was not the commandments, but it came because of mutual dislike of each other’s customs. This is common between cultures, but in this case, most Jewish customs are different. They did not just evolve; they were the obedience of the Jewish people in response to the Old Testament teachings given them by God.

In Ephesians 2:19, Paul continues speaking to the Gentile believers, “Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family.” 

The word fellow citizen means to be in union with or together with by resemblance, companionship, or association. When someone becomes a citizen of a nation, they are required to learn the laws, customs, history, and language of that nation. A person becoming a citizen must also pledge loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment to that nation. We need to remember that it says in Romans 11:17, that the Gentiles were grafted in among the nation of Israel, and the Jewish people. When you graft something, you join or fasten it in such a way as to bring about a close and permanent union. This is what Ruth did as she attached herself to Naomi, a type and shadow of the Gentile becoming a fellow citizen with Israel and the Jewish people. The Gentile believers (Christians) should be thoroughly involved with the Jewish people, both Messianic and non-Messianic; thereby fulfilling scripture. Unfortunately, this union that Paul spoke about never really developed into the ONE NEW MAN relationship. In Ephesians 2:20, Paul states that these Gentile believers are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus The Messiah being the chief cornerstone. It is okay to apply this verse for today, that apostles and prophets are the backbone of the Church, but we also must remember that when Paul was writing to the apostles and prophets he was referring to were all Jewish. The rich biblical inheritance that believers in Messiah have worldwide has been passed down to them by Jewish spiritual parents. In verse 21 it states, “In whom all the building fitly framed together grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” The Jew and the Gentile are to be fitly joined together.

Jesus Is A Jew

Jesus The Jew

The most important thing about Jesus is almost completely ignored or overlooked and disregarded by all His followers.  I refer to the fact that He was born, lived and died as a Jew. The Gospel is also diminished by the fact that Jesus is a King and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. He also commissioned His disciples to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.  The fact that this is overlooked by so many today is despite the fact that the Bible is so filled with the vital nature and characteristic of Jesus and this greatly significant fact. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus, demonstrate so clearly that Jesus was totally Jewish in every aspect of His assumed humanity.

Jesus performed miracles and signs. He healed the sick, raised the dead, quelled storms of nature, fed the multitudes and exercised absolute authority over the spirit world—yet He wasn’t accepted as Israel’s Messiah.

One might think that with those credentials, He would be automatically proclaimed Messiah. We are told, however, that “He came to His own [people], and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11). After a 3 1⁄ 2-year ministry, only 120 followers were there for the miraculous beginning of His Church (Acts 1:15).

One of the prophecies about the Messiah foretold that He would be “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). The great works Jesus did that brought about His popularity in the country, were not enough to overcome the disfavour He incurred from the religious authorities—or enough to secure loyalty from the fickle hearts of the common man.

His mission and His teachings were at cross purposes to those who held high positions in the nation, and His purpose was also misunderstood by most of those who saw and heard Him.

 

What Were The Jews Looking For?

The Jews were acquainted with many of the prophecies about the Messiah, the chosen or “anointed one” as the word means in Hebrew. They firmly believed that the Messiah would be a strong and glorious earthly king who would deliver them from their Roman oppressors and form once again a great and independent Jewish kingdom. The wise men who came from the east seeking the newborn Jesus inquired at Jerusalem, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:1-2).

King Herod, who ruled Judea under the Romans, clearly understood that the Messiah the Jews expected was to be another king and thus a rival to himself. He then asked the chief priests and scribes “where the Christ was to be born” so he could eliminate the threat to his power (Matthew 2:3-16).

In the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, Christos (Christ in English) has the same meaning as the Hebrew word Mashiach (Messiah in English) — “anointed one,” signifying one who was specially chosen by God (see “What Do ‘Messiah’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ Mean?” beginning on page 68). Herod and the Jewish rulers considered the title “Christ” as synonymous with that of “King of the Jews” in accordance with the general expectation of the time (compare Matthew 2:2 and Matthew 2:4).

The expectation that the Christ would be a king fit with their understanding that He would also be a descendant of David, the most famous of all the kings of Israel and the one by whom all other kings were measured. We see this illustrated in Matthew 22:42, when Jesus asked the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” Their response was, “The Son of David” (Matthew 22:42).

Jesus was addressed as “Son of David” by two blind men (Matthew 9:27), by the woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22) and by the blind men at Jericho (Matthew 20:30). When Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute, “all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’” (Matthew 12:22-23). At His entry into Jerusalem He was greeted with shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:9).

The number and scope of the miracles Jesus performed—miracles not equalled in the history of Israel even by the great prophets—led people to the conclusion that He had to be the prophesied Messiah. “And many of the people believed in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ [Messiah] comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?’” (John 7:31).

The  Astounding Prophecy Of Zechariah 12

In Zechariah 12,  two miraculous events are predicted to happen  in Israel in the Last days. The first is an astounding supernatural victory for Israel against an attack made by numerous nations fanatically dedicated to the complete destruction of Israel. The second event closely following the victory, is the unveiling of the Angel of the Lord who proves to be the promised Messiah. This is  probably the most important chapter in the Bible at this time, because it may be dramatically fulfilled in the very imminent  future. The nations that Zechariah mentions are currently feverishly preparing for this attack. They are already impatiently waiting on Israel’s borders, ready for what they perceive to be their prophetic  moment to totally conquer Israel. The chapter describes exactly how the attack will proceed and what the ultimate result will be. It is absolutely essential that the whole world prepares for this event.

  1. A Ferocious Attack.
    In the Last Days, several Islamic nations filled with ancient bitter hatred for Israel, will gather on Israel’s border. They will boldly issue numerous threats to attack and annihilate Israel and Jerusalem. The attack will be launched as the first stage of their determination to wrest Israel from Jewish rule and replace it with Islamic and Sharia law. It will be the most powerful attack ever made on Israel. Several earlier attacks since the first in 1948, have failed dismally leaving Israel’s enemies with great humiliation that is extremely difficult for Muslims to bear. They see such defeats as extremely grave dishonour to Allah and the whole body of Islamic tradition.
  2. Anti-Semitism Throughout The World.
    Practically all the other nations on earth will give tacit agreement to the attack, to be launched with the intention of providing space for a new Palestinian State. Anti-Semitism can be traced back to the earliest days of human history when it began. Throughout the following ages it has continually grown ever stronger. The roots of it began between Ishmael and Isaac. Instead of becoming weaker through the passage of time it has become ever stronger. Since 1948, when the new state of Israel was proclaimed in the land of “Palestine” it has become more passionate than ever. This phenomena is continually deepening and is surely reaching a great crescendo in this day. It will finally reach a conclusion as a direct result of this great battle for the control of Jerusalem and Israel.
  3. A Stalwart Defense.
    The governors (leaders) of Judah will declare that the inhabitants of Israel find their strength in the Lord of Hosts their God. In Zechariah 12 and Asaph in Psalm 83, predict ferocious and fierce attacks to be made on Israel. Asaph declares that the intention is to “wipe Israel off the map that she will be remembered no more.” This is an extremely bold ambition that Islamic forces finally believe Allah himself will grant to his people. It is a vital part of the Islamic vision for the end of days, and all Muslims are encouraged to believe for such a climax to all human rule except that activated by Allah.
  4. An Army Like Fiery Torches.
    God will makes the Jewish forces like a fiery torch devouring the enemy forces on the right hand and the left. (There is no mention of Jewish casualties or losses in this chapter!) Although the forces fighting for Islam will appear frighteningly superior to those of Israel, the evident appearance of the God of Israel in support of His ancient covenant people, will reverse the odds and makes Israel far more capable of achieving a miraculous victory. The supernatural nature of God’s intervention will clearly overcome and totally supersede the apparent strength and size of the enemy armies. They will be decisively defeated.
  1. Led By The Angel Of The Lord.
    Jewish forces will be infused with supernatural strength. Even the feeblest soldier will be like King David and like the Angel of the Lord who will go before them. At various times in the Jewish Bible we may read of amazing victories achieved by Israel. In most of these records we may notice the appearance of one called “The Angel of the Lord.” This is the appearance of the God of Israel in a manner appropriate to providing competent defense and victory for the Israelite people of God. Zechariah clearly describes the intervention of this person on behalf of Israel.
  2. God Will Powerfully Defend Israel. V9.
    God will “determine to destroy” all the nations that come against Israel. Not only will Almighty God provide a great defense for Israel, probably saving millions of lives from death, He will also convincingly terminate the enemy armies that attack Israel. Such a victory may seem almost too fantastic to believe. However, when we consider the massive armaments that Iraq and its allies will have we can realize that it would surely require a truly supernatural army to destroy the Islamic forces. If Israel was left to its own defenses against such an army  these nations can muster, we may imagine how hopeless would be Israel’s chance of survival would be. Capable defence and the reality of Israel’s victory, will definitely require the supernatural intervention that only God can produce.
  3. A Great Holy Spirit Outpouring. Vs 9-10.
    The Holy Spirit will be initially poured out on the household of King David. However, Joel’s prophecy of the End Times has always predicted a sensational outpouring of the Holy on All Flesh. (Joel 2:28). When might this miraculous and marvellous event happen? If we search the scriptures for a likely moment in the prophetic future when this predicted event might happen, we must look again to Joel 2. In verse 27, Joel states that I AM will be “In the midst of Israel.” Joel further states that after this (Joel 2:27-28) he will pour out His Holy Spirit on ALL Flesh.
  4. Israel Recognizes Her Messiah Verse 12. 12:10-14 (NKJV)
    The Jewish population will finally look upon the face and form of their deliverer, the Angel of the Lord, who is actually their long awaited Messiah. They will confirm the evidence of their eyes by the scars of His wounding at Calvary 2,000 years ago.
  5. The Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit On The Jews

Zechariah 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.  Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

  1. Great Mourning And Repentance In Jerusalem
    11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
    12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;
    13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 
  2. All The Israeli Families That Remain Will Repent
    14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.